I have a hair that grows out of a mole on my chin.
Sometimes, at certain times of the year or if I have been neglecting my personal grooming, it meets another little hair and they make little chin hair babies, and somehow they all fit on the mole on my chin. It’s at those times that you can find me locked in my bathroom with all the lights blazing, burning incense, and howling at the moon, madly plucking hairs, because they are like a plague, and without decisive action, I will wind up looking like the bearded lady.
The problem with mole hairs—like any unwanted hair—is that you have to let it get to a certain length before you can pull it out. Whether your preferred technique is waxing or tweezing, it’s an unfortunate truth that it has to be big enough to see and grab before it can be removed.
And if you can see it and grab it, it usually means other people can see it and grab it.
I love the satisfaction of pulling it out—like popping a zit. And I never fail to be amazed at the sheer length of what lurks beneath, like a wiry black iceberg in the ocean of my face.
Unwanted eyebrow hairs are the same, but they are a weaker species than my stocky chin hair. Eyebrow hairs are pale and sickly, and require a microscope and steady hand to pull out. There is none of the satisfaction which is gained from removing the proud, strong chin hair. These weak creatures are a constant source of grief, not so much from growing in the wrong place, but from growing at all. I would prefer curly pubic hair as eyebrows than the half-arsed fuzz sprouting above my eyes.
I was in my mid-20s before someone pointed out their deficiency to me. A flamboyant hairdresser in Canberra, his tight pink crotch in my face as he examined his handiwork, drew back in disgust. “Your eyebrows stop halfway across your eyes,” he despaired. “Did you realize you only had half an eyebrow?”
He looked at my face, bewilderment clearly showing. “No, I suppose you didn’t,” he said. “You should really do something about that. Buy a pencil.”
Buy a pencil?
Turns out he didn’t mean an eyeliner pencil (a scary look that took three days of scrubbing to remove). My eyebrow pencil—when I finally figured out what he meant—became my new best friend, and a crisis was averted.
It wasn’t long after that that the chin hair made an appearance. Perhaps it had always been there, a paler version of its later self, but when it realized that I liked penciled-in dark hair on my face, it mutated into a bold bristle and came forth into my world. It may have been expecting a cheery welcome, but for 15 years, it has faced a daily battle with the tweezers. And it usually wins.
It wasn’t until after I had children, though, that I noticed the long hairs that grow on the back of my thighs. Not a whole forest of them, just two or three, unbelievably long hairs that clearly don’t belong behind my knees, like rampant pubic hairs making an excruciatingly slow bid for freedom by growing down my legs. I add leg pubes to the long list of disgusting things having children has done to my body.
Love it or hate it, I admire my chin hair. Its stubbornness and persistence over time is worthy of praise. No matter how often I pull it out, it just keeps growing, just keeps growing—the Dory of tresses, the little chin hair that could.
Maybe I should write a story about it. Oh wait—I just did.